Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is sometimes considered to be the poor cousin of the marketing communications mix. It’s a time consuming and a long-term strategy…. but it is an essential ingredient to anyone’s online marketing mix. SEO should be considered as the tape on the outside of the equation – it’s not the sexy advertising message at the center, it holds everything together.
One of the comments that Webfirm is asked a lot from small business owners is – “I can’t afford to do SEO”. It’s a fair statement coming from companies that don’t really have a marketing budget, let alone a lot surplus cash to spend on any marketing activity.
The thing is, while not everybody can afford SEO, you can’t really afford NOT to have SEO.
The question I ask prospects and clients is: “How do you search for information?” and guaranteed 90% of them will answer with “Oh I go online”. If you search for answers to your questions online, nothing is stopping your audience from doing the same and seeing your competitors.
The great thing about SEO is that it is trackable; you can see where your money is going. You know how many visitors come to your site via what keywords, domains and where they enter your site. Can you say that about your mail out catalogues or your ad in the Yellow pages?
A common situation is that while our small businesses aren’t able to afford to do a lot of marketing activities, a lot of them are spending over $20K a year on advertising in the yellow pages. For those businesses this this is an remarkable amount of money.
Every small business is different, but when you think about it, if you can spend $20K on phone book advertising that is completely un-tracked, you can certainly look at redistributing some of that spend to invest in SEO (and/or Paid Search Advertising [PSA]), which is trackable. Successful marketing is all about showing a good return on your investment.
Understandably, most small businesses don’t want to remove themselves completely from the yellow and white pages. But people need to start adopting new technology and marketing methods to stay in the game. Reduce spend in one area, and expand/explore another. Don’t eliminate one method completely until you know it’s not working for you. That’s the advantage of any marketing that is trackable. You know what is working and what is not.
Unfortunately, for the REALLY small businesses that are just starting out and don’t have a significant budget to work with, SEO is an expensive method to test. It’s the case of finding a way to invest the little money you can spare, to turn that into a successful lead generation tactic, so that you can turn a little more money into even more lead generations.
You may not be able to invest thousands of dollars a month in SEO or other Site Marketing methods such as PSA or Social Media…. but the little that you do spend, if done right should help you on your way.
At Webfirm, we have the experience and skills to help you achieve your online marketing goals through our various channels such as Search Engine Optimisation, Paid Search Advertising and Social Media Marketing. Webfirm’s SEO packages start from just $199 (ex GST) a month. Call us on 1300 Webfirm (932 3476) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our Search Engine Optimisation packages and what they can do for your business.
Image credit SEOPlanter on Flickr